Mental Health Research Canada, Poll 15: Improved stress, anxiety, and depression levels have levelled off

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February 23, 2023 – Today, Mental Health Research Canada (MHRC) released the results of the latest in-depth survey designed, executed, and analysed on their behalf by Pollara Strategic Insights. This is the 15th survey conducted for MHRC since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, in order to monitor, track, and understanding Canadians’ mental health during this crisis and beyond.  

In our recent waves of research for MHRC, we saw mental health indicators improve. However, this new piece of research sees levels of high anxiety (10%), depression (8%), and not coping well with stress (14%) remain constant compared to our last data collection in November 2022. Future polls will validate whether this is indicative of a new normal for Canadians, or the result of transitional changes, such as a seasonal impacts or the state of the economy.   

The online survey was conducted from January 23 to February 6, 2023 amongst a randomly-selected, reliable sample of N=3,238 adult Canadians.  

The poll reveals some positive trends, such as high levels of happiness (81%) and hopefulness (64%) and a slight increase in the number of Canadians accessing mental health services in the past year. However, the poll also reveals a number of items of concern:     

  • A quarter of Canadians are feeling exhausted and burnt out (24%, and higher among the unemployed and students).
  • A disproportionate level of mental health challenges faced by 2SLGBTQIA+ Canadians, including self-rated anxiety, depression, and resilience indicators.
  • While half of Canadians indicate that inflation is not having a negative mental health impact on them, those whose mental health has been affected by inflation are showing significant signs of worsening mental health, in terms of higher anxiety (33%), depression (32%), difficulties handling stress (30%), suicide ideation (31%), and alcohol (23%) or cannabis (22%) dependency.
  • We’ve also noted increases in similar negative mental health indicators in parents of children under the age of nine.

For more detailed findings from this survey, please read the report.  In addition, in collaboration with Pollara, MHRC hosts an interactive, easily searchable Data Portal, which tracks the data captured in this series of surveys. MHRC has also released a series of research briefs that provide an in-depth investigation of specific issues and population cohorts in this survey series.  

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